January 09, 2014

You're only as limited as you think you are

My first week of grad school is complete. 


View from my new favorite study spot on campus :)
And what have I learned?

My schedule, policy theories, organization theories, business models, my professors names (kind of), where my classes are located, time management/how to have a flexible schedule/ (much different than working full-time like I've been doing for the past six months), and how to read hundreds of pages in one night

And last, but definitely not least:



You're only as limited as you think you are.

I learned this lesson in my very first class on Monday. A tall and frail man walked, well limped, into the classroom right before it was about to start. It was obvious that this man was at least 60 years old. Everyone in the class, myself included, kind of stared at the man with a puzzled look because we knew he wasn't the professor (the professor was already at his desk in the front of the room)…so who was he? 

Once the man made his way to a seat and pulled out a few pencils and pieces of paper onto his desk, our professor stood up and asked that we all introduce ourselves and share something about ourselves with the class. I shared my name, hometown, my undergrad information, and my ultimate career goals. I also shared how I'd heard grad school is much tougher than undergrad and that it's a rough transition. A few other people in the class made eye contact with me after that last statement and I knew they were in the same boat with the same emotions.

Finally, it was the mysterious man's turn to speak. He didn't tell us his name first though. The first thing he said? "You're only as limited as you think you are." I got chill bumps as soon as the sentence came to an end. And then he continued speaking. He shared his name, how he was an undergrad student at Tech 40+ years ago, has owned several successful businesses, made all the money he wanted to make, but has yet to accomplish one of his goals that always frightened him…getting his masters degree.

I think my mouth dropped (how embarrassing). But I was in awe of this man who could be enjoying retirement at home. Instead, he decided to come back to school "for fun" and to defeat a lifelong fear. He admitted that grad school and many goals in life are challenging. And the older you get, the more unrealistic those goals may become. But he said he finally started believing "you're only as limited as you think you are." He shared how he's aware of how old he is and the difficulty of the program. But he wasn't going to allow those barriers to prevent him from accomplishing something he's dreamed of for years.

Life is hard. And the obstacles, doubts, and setbacks will arise. But how do you face those?

Honestly, I've been a little worried about making the transition from college to grad school. I went into this experience completely blind and a little intimidated. All I've been hearing is that grad school is way harder than undergrad. And I let that limit my confidence before even starting school. But after my first week, I can proudly say that I'm only as limited to achieve in grad school as I think I am. And…I'm not limited. I've set my goals for the semester and have already found a time management system that works for me. I've been participating in class and doing the work and so far I feel great about all of my classes. It's all a mindset. And we have to remind ourselves of that.

For me, this applies to starting my grad school career. But I can think of so many other applications for this mantra. Applying for schools, applying for jobs, interviewing for jobs, trying to make new friends, trying to survive in a new city, trying to launch a new business, or just trying to be happy with yourself in general.

Before the doubt seeps into your mind, remember one thing: you're only as limited as you think you are. If you believe you can do it…you can.

12 comments:

  1. grad school is not a joke, which i know you already know. good luck girl! you'll do great :)

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  2. Beautiful view. Seems like you are hittin' the ground running. Here's to a great semester.

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  3. I totally believe that we are the only ones who limit ourselves... I am removing the limitations one my one too... I know you will too Vett :)

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  4. good luck

    http://iamaleena.blogspot.com.au/

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  5. Hello from Spain: great recommendation. Nice view of your new university. Keep in touch.

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  6. I love this post! It reminds me of my first day of college. One of my classmates was a 65 year old woman. She raised 6 kids as a single mom and for her 64th birthday her kids, all grown and graduated from college now, presented her with a check and told her that it was her time to go to school and get a degree!

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  7. That is such a true and wise lesson! It sounds like you are enjoying grad school so far, I wish you the best of luck with it!

    Lauren,
    http://www.atouchofsoutherngrace.com/

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  8. You are so capable and smart! Of course you can handle grad school. I wouldn't doubt you for a second. Keep it up!!

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  9. There are no limits, if you want, you can. One of us runs and she knows it because she began 5 years ago and she thought running was for other people, now she's a runner!

    http://inatrendytown.blogspot.com

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  10. I love your blog
    followed
    http://minimaysi.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete

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